Faculty members at UL plan a show of solidarity with a colleague whose curriculum may be in jeopardy due to anticipated budget cuts.

The coordinator of the German language degree program at UL, along with the chair of the Modern Languages Department and the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday with Provost Steve Landry and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Carolyn Bruder to discuss the future of the program. It’s unclear at this point what the administration will have to say regarding the German program at UL, but several faculty members plan to escort Dr. Caroline Huey, the university’s German language coordinator, to the meeting with Landry and Bruder.

“I and my chair, Dan Kocher, and the dean of liberal arts, David Barry, have been summoned to a meeting today at 2 o’clock, and that is all we know,” says Huey, the only German instructor at the university. Huey says she currently has four students seeking bachelor’s degrees in German and four to six students minoring in the language.

The university, through its deans and chairmen, has been coordinating worst-case-scenario plans for pending budget cuts expected to come down again next year as the state tackles another $1 billion+ budget shortfall — an undertaking historically met by slashing health care and higher education, two areas in the state budget that are not constitutionally protected. The state Board of Regents, which oversees public universities, has over the last couple of years scuttled several degree programs at universities and colleges statewide including the philosophy degree program at UL.

“There’s an academic affairs team that reviews and prioritizes academic programs, created for budget cuts,” Huey explains. “It analyzed the bachelor’s degree concentration in German and has apparently finished analyzing us — me — and wants to present us with the results of their analysis.”

The Ind will check back with Huey later Tuesday to find out what happened in that 2 p.m. meeting. We’ll keep you posted.

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